Security for Google's New Home Assistant May Get Lost on the IoT
When Google announced that it was coming out with a competitor to Amazon's Echo device at the I/O conference on Wednesday May 18, most of the discussion was about the capabilities, and whether it would be able to overcome the frustrations of other digital assistants, including Amazon's Alexa.
At this point, most of the discussion is mere speculation because it will be months before Google's currently nameless assistant will be in a ready-to-ship form later this year.
But what's not being discussed is the security and privacy provisions of Google's new device. The lack of details about privacy is ironic considering Google, of all cloud companies, routinely raises privacy flags the most. So the question then becomes, what is Google planning to do to safeguard security and privacy?
Both of these issues are critical because privacy and security get very short shrift in the vast and unregulated Internet of things. The IoT is well known for its casual approach to security, because manufacturers may not go to a lot of trouble to make devices secure and because users rarely spend any time or thought to make sure their networks even minimally secure.
NEWS ANALYSIS: At this point, nobody knows what level of security is planned for the new Google Home smart assistant, but potential buyers need to think about security no matter Google provides.
Two devices that have been running for a while on the IoT, routers and webcams, demonstrate just how lax security is with those devices. Go to any even moderately populated area and do a search for a WiFi hot spot and you will find dozens of unsecured WiFi routers with names like "Linksys."